Zika Virus Microcephaly Challenged by Argentine Physicians; Birth Defect Caused by Monsanto Larvicide?

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Feb 15, 2016 11:00 AM EST

Argentine physicians point out that the microcephaly outbreak in Brazil is caused by Monsanto Larvicide and not the Zika virus.

Microcephaly is a congenital neurological condition which results in unusually small heads to babies born with it. An influx of cases in Brazil suspects it to be the Zika virus' doing but Argentine physicians say otherwise.

The Physicians in Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST) points out to the chemical larvicide injected in the water supplies of Brazil in 2014 to stop mosquito spread. The chemical named Pyriproxyfen was used by the government. The larvicide is produced by Sumitomo Chemical, a company associated with Monsanto.

The PCST points out that the health ministry has put pyriproxyfen in the drinking reservoirs in Pernambuco, an area high in Zika virus carrier Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

"A dramatic increase of congenital malformations, especially microcephaly in newborns, was detected and quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health," the PCST wrote in a report. "However, they fail to recognise that in the area where most sick persons live, a chemical larvicide producing malformations in mosquitoes has been applied for 18 months, and that this poison (pyroproxyfen) is applied by the State on drinking water used by the affected population."

The group called out that the massive spraying of the chemical is "criminal" and politically motivated. They are clamoring for community-based actions to stunt the progress of the outbreak.

Sumitomo Chemical is a Japanese subsidiary of Monsanto. Tech Times reports that the company wrote on their website that their chemical is safe to be put in drinking water and poses limited risk to animals, especially birds and fishes.

The outlet points out that in the 732 Zika-related microcephaly cases out of more than 4,000, only 270 were confirmed to be linked to the virus.

Fox News Latino reports that the use of the larvicide for treating water has been suspended. The suspension was directly after the PCST questioned its use. The word has been spread to "19 Regional Health Coordinating Authorities, which in turn will inform the respective Municipal Monitoring services".

Health Minister Marcelo Castro stated in response that the larvicide is not dangerous.

"That is a rumor lacking logic and sense. It has no basis. (The larvicide) is approved by (the National Sanitary Monitoring Agency) and is used worldwide. Pyriproxyfen is recognized by all regulatory agencies in the whole world," Castro said.

While there is no proof that the larvicide directly causes microcephaly in babies, Health Secretary Joao Gabbardo said they will not take the risk and decided to suspend its use regardless.

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